Books



Keeper of the Word: A Review of The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson

I make the sign for birch in the gray soil of thought.

A tree springs up, its trunk white and straight, its leaves small and rounded.

“The birch is the tree of beginnings, of purification, of fire. Let the birch stand in honor of the Bard, who summons the inner flame. The Bard will be poet, musician, and prophet. He will learn the history of our people, all our laws and our lore. The Bard will be Keeper of the Word.”

—Helena Sorensen, The Door on Half-Bald Hill
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Bilbo’s Garden

By Rebecca D. Martin

“Inside Bag End, Bilbo and Gandalf were sitting at the open window of a small room looking out west onto the garden. The late afternoon was bright and peaceful. The flowers glowed red and golden: snap-dragons and sunflowers, and nasturtiums trailing all over the turf walls and peeping in at the round windows.”
The Fellowship of the Ring

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Finding a Way Forward: A Review of The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By John Barber

And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again”
— Rich Mullins, “The Color Green”

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The Lost Art of Listening, Part 5: The Case for Nostalgia

By Leslie E. Thompson

Here’s my great confession: If you were to look in my musical library and scroll through the albums, artists, and playlists I’ve curated over the years, it’s likely you would think I’ve listened to really terrible music.

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Introducing the Square Halo Podcast

By Leslie Bustard

Even if podcasts existed twenty years ago, I never would have imagined that Square Halo Books would ever have had enough contributors in its catalog to support a full season of episodes, and with many people left untapped. And the idea that I would be sitting down with a chunky black microphone between me and such amazing thinkers and makers, digging deeper into their ideas through such delightful conversations as I have had this past year, would have been something I couldn’t have even hoped for.

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Pronunciation Guide: The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Helena Sorensen

I’ve been asked to write a brief pronunciation guide for anyone who might need help with character and place names in The Door on Half-Bald Hill. Pronunciation guides are tricky! It’s always easier to hear a new word than to decode it by means of the kind of weird, inconsistent descriptors I’m about to give.

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Discovering God’s Joy: An Interview with Helena Sorensen (Part 2)

By Drew Miller

I’ve been wanting to have this conversation with Helena Sorensen ever since I had the pleasure of reading her last draft of The Door on Half-Bald Hill over the holidays. In this interview, we discuss the choice of partnering with life or with death, the apocalypse, thematic overlap between her story and the drama of Holy Week, the wonders of Celtic mythology, and much more. It was a long conversation, so I’ve broken it down into two parts. To take us into Maundy Thursday, here’s Part 2.

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Asking the Right Question: An Interview with Helena Sorensen (Part 1)

By Drew Miller

I’ve been wanting to have this conversation with Helena Sorensen ever since I had the pleasure of reading her last draft of The Door on Half-Bald Hill over the holidays. In this interview, we discuss the choice of partnering with life or with death, the apocalypse, thematic overlap between her story and the drama of Holy Week, the wonders of Celtic mythology, and much more. It was a long conversation, so I’ve broken it down into two parts. You’ll see the rest of our conversation on the blog on Maundy Thursday.

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Rabbit Room LIVE

By Pete Peterson

In this crazy new world of social distancing, the Rabbit Room aims to bring people together around what matters, and we aim to do that in whatever way we can. To that end we’re launching the latest in our attempts to bring good things to light. Welcome to Rabbit Room LIVE, your 24/7 source of live content for a troubled world.

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Read It Now: The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Pete Peterson

Nearly four years ago, when Helena Sorensen and I had our first conversations about publishing The Door on Half-Bald Hill, we didn’t have any idea how relevant it would prove to be here in the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine. It’s a tale of an isolated people whose world is on the verge of collapse amid blight and plague, and it’s the journey of a young man who refuses to believe the end is inevitable. Though the emotional and physical landscape of the book is bleak, its destination is bright as the dawn.

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Half-Bald Hill & New Endings

By Helena Sorensen

As a child, I heard a lot about the end of the world—the mark of the Beast, the demise of America, the million-man army that would spread destruction over the face of the earth. Things were going badly wrong, they said, and soon the sun would be darkened. And being an earnest child, I went about gathering fears and confirmations of doom and storing them away like cankerous fruit.

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A Rabbit Room Digital Care Package

By Drew Miller

The deluge of frightful information we wake up to daily—though helpful in navigating a disease-ridden world with wisdom and love—ceases to be helpful when it eclipses everything else in sight. So when the Rabbit Room staff gathered on Monday to ask what it means to do the work before us in such a time as this, the answer took the familiar form of providing content that would contribute to the health of our imaginations, the sustaining of hope, and the de-escalation of anxiety—from our homes to yours.

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